155 Million Sausages?!
It’s not surprising that this is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year–what’s surprising is HOW MANY hot dogs we eat! Americans eat some 20 billion hot dog per year, and 155 million of them are consumed on July 4th alone, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. That’s enough average-sized franks to stretch from L.A. to D.C. five times, with some left over.
We’ve Got the Wrong Date
The 2nd of July may actually be the more appropriate date to mark the nation’s special day. Congress actually ruled it in favor of independence on July 2. But it was two days later, of course, that Congress then accepted Jefferson’s declaration, so it got fixed in America’s mind as our birthday.
The Most Dangerous Day of the Year
This is continually deemed the most dangerous holiday weekend of the entire year. The National Safety Council estimated that there would be 385 deaths and 41,200 injuries this weekend. Yikes! Read a few more facts, and you’ll see why.
$1 Billion in Beers
The Fourth of July is America’s top-selling beer holiday according to the Beer Institute, which says that beer sales could reach $1 billion this July 4th.
3 Founding Fathers Passed on The 4th
3 of our Founding Fathers all passed away on the 4th of July–creepy coincidence? Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were ideological opposites and election rivals–but had nearly simultaneous deaths on July 4, 1826. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson uttered his last words, “Is it the fourth yet?” before passing away. Later that same day, Adams also died, but not before saying, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” unaware his dear friend had already passed on. Five years later, on July 4, 1831, James Monroe, the last presidential Founding Father, died as well.
Five years ago, a North Dakota resident literally lost his head on the 4th of July. The father of two was lighting fireworks, while neighbor Chris Hanson watched on in terror. “Within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang,” Hanson said, to NBC News. “When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down.”
The Original Declaration Was Drafted on a Laptop
Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a “laptop,” which at that time, was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.
Deadliest Driving Day of the Year
Independence Day has historically been the deadliest day on the road for Americans, according to the Insurance Institute. Between 1986 and 2002, July 4 was continuously the day with the most car crash deaths each year, totaling 2,743 deaths. Nearly 41 percent of them were alcohol-related.
The Forgotten Turtle Soup Tradition
On July 4, 1776, John Adams…and his wife sat down for a celebratory meal of turtle soup and New England poached salmon with egg sauce. Sounds a bit different than the frankfurts, fries, BBQ treats, and beer of today.
We Spend $600 Million on Explosions
American consumers spend more than $600 million on fireworks for the Fourth, according to H&R Block.
Sparklers Cause 1,400 Hand Injuries
Maybe Americans should stop buying so many fireworks–Health officials estimate more than 1,400 hand injuries are caused by fireworks on Independence Day. Sparklers, which can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, are the number one cause of injury.
In a letter in 1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote that he was displeased that the bald eagle had been chosen as the symbol for the nation” “He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly,” he wrote. “You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk.” A turkey, Franklin went on to argue, is a far “more respectable” bird. “Turk’y… true original Native of America,” Franklin wrote. “He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
Most of our Flags and Fireworks are From China #MURICA
97% ($190.7 million) of imported fireworks are from China.
87.5% ($2.8 million) of imported U.S. flags are from China.
The Declaration of Independence Mostly Just Calls Out the British King
The majority of the Declaration of Independence is just a laundry list of crimes and bad behavior that the British King committed. The Declaration almost resembles a break-up letter from the U.S. to Great Britain (“listen King George–I’m gonna do me, and you do you”), and what would a break-up letter be without a list of complaints?
Fireworks Mostly Injure Hands and Fingers…but That’s Not All
The most common fireworks injuries were to hands and fingers — 36% — but 22% of injuries were to heads, faces and ears. Sixteen percent were eye injuries. Ouch.
The British King Said This Day Was “Nothing of Importance”
As the story goes, on the day that his American ex-subjects were ratifying their Declaration of Independence, England’s King George III wrote in his diary, “Nothing of importance happened today.” Can we say, “Irony”?
Fireworks Are Not the Highest Danger This Week
But according to the safety commission, emergency room visits for bicycle crashes, swimming incidents, exercise equipment accidents, and basketball injuries topped those for fireworks injuries during the week of July 1 to July 7 last year. Looks like there’s a price to pay for extra fun.
It Took 100 Years to Make This Holiday Official
It took almost 100 years for Congress to recognize this as an official holiday. Even though Americans started celebrating in 1777, it took until 1870 to be able to take work off for the day. It was part of a bill passed to recognize major state holidays at a federal level — like Independence Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
John Adams Refused to Celebrate
Second President, Founding Father, and leader of American independence was a bit of a Debbie Downer. We’re only kidding; however, he went to his grave refusing to take part in Independence Day celebrations on the 4th of July. He’s a little particular–according to Adams, the colonies truly broke from tyranny on July 2nd—the day that the members of the Continental Congress first voted to approve the Declaration of Independence. Maybe he realized how freakin’ dangerous the holiday would be.
Ringing the Liberty Bell is Never Allowed
Due to concerns about cracking the iconic instrument, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year, to mark the Fourth of July, the 2,000-pound bell is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the country to start ringing.
Our Population Has Multiplied 129 Times Since The Declaration
When the Declaration was drafted in 1776, about 2.5 million people lived in the United States verses 322.7 million people in 2016. So, you could say we’ve grown.
The First Daughter’s Birthday is 4th of July
Calvin Coolidge, the country’s 30th president, was born on Independence Day. Also, current first daughter Malia Obama–talk about two people destined to be patriots.
The Philippines Celebrates Independence from US on the Same Day
In the Philippines, July 4th is known as “Republic Day.” In the Southeast Asian nation, “Republic Day” marks the date when the United States officially recognized the Philippines as an independent state in 1946.
The First Ever 4th of July Celebration Was in 1777!
Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks. Why did we lose the cannon salute?
Rhode Island Wins Longest Standing Tradition
The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.
Pursuit of Happiness Is Our Version of Pursuit of Property
Thomas Jefferson changed the wording of the Declaration of Independence from “the pursuit of property” to “the pursuit of happiness.”
Rwanda Celebrates The Same Day
Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day” on July 4th–the date marks the 1994 “end of the Rwandan Genocide, and the birth of the new government that rose from the ashes.”
Pennsylvania Boasts Independence All Year